Gender Equity Measured in Pronouns Per Page

Researchers chart the slow and unsteady rise of female representation in printed media by focusing on one part of speech: the humble pronoun.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What’s the Latest Development?

Using Google Books, a team at San Diego State University examined over a million books published in the United States between 1900 and 2008 to determine how frequently female pronouns appeared compared to male pronouns. As expected, the ratio of male pronouns to female pronouns is lower now than it was in 1900. What surprised the researchers was that it didn’t drop steadily over the intervening 108 years. “Th[e] ratio increased…in the 1950s and early 1960s – the Father Knows Best era, when women stayed in the kitchen and, apparently, off the printed page.” It wasn’t until 1968 – when feminism was starting to take off – that the ratio began to drop significantly.

What’s the Big Idea?

The researchers note that the fall and rise of this ratio mirrors the status of American women over time, both in print media and in real life. As more women obtained college degrees and entered the labor force, more female pronouns appeared, and this reflection of gender awareness had implications for society as a whole. “The implicit notion that women’s lives are important and worth documenting no doubt conveys an important message to young readers of both genders.”

Photo Credit:

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
Keep reading Show less